We live in a world where artificial intelligence (AI) is all the rage. We let computers run our chats and we try to send mass texts to our lists. Our email marketing campaigns are impersonal and dull.

The idea is to engage potential donors, sponsors, conference attendees, and others in a way that encourages them to open their wallets, but many nonprofit associations struggle with creating meaningful content meant to keep members and sponsors and alike in the loop.

Part of the problem comes down to one fact: in a world where you can set up a chat bot to answer basic questions in an almost-human fashion, actual humans want to interact on a more personal level.

Email, according to MediaPost, is still an important way to interact with others. In fact, it ranks third behind in-person interactions and phone interactions. But to make it work, your email needs to be personal — and demonstrate some sort of empathy. This can be difficult in a world where all the advice is to automate, automate, automate.

Addressing People Where They Are

The key to using email in your nonprofit association is meeting people where they are and adding personal touches. According to MediaPost, when people interact with you, they want the following deliverables:

  • Problem solving
  • Support
  • Efficiency
  • Adaptability
  • Even temper
  • Empathy
  • Personalization

This relates largely to resolving negative experience with a brand, but you can use these insights in your email marketing to encourage those on your list to take action.

When writing your emails, think about the types of problems you’re solving, along with the support and empathy you can provide. Add a touch of personalization, and your emails can reach your list members where they are — and encourage them to take action, whether you want them to sign up for an event or make a donation.

Figure out what your audience wants and then look at how your association can provide it. Then communicate it effectively in your email for better results.

Keep it Real

Not only do you need your email marketing to solve problems and show empathy, but you need to keep it real with your own situation. In many cases, your audience wants to feel a connection to a real person.

There’s a reason so many nonprofit associations and brands are trying to put a face to what they do. Spotlighting the executives, assistants, and planners that make your association work adds a level of personality and connection. Sharing your setbacks as well as your triumphs makes you more “real.”

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish with your email newsletter, adding a personal touch, and keeping it real, can help you connect with your audience.

There’s a reason that mass texting is out and peer-to-peer texting was all the rage this campaign season. And there’s a reason people are more likely to open an email with a person’s name as the sender, rather than an organization’s name. People want to feel as though you are talking to them — and as though you understand them. If your email marketing can do that, you’re ahead of the game.

Using a company like TVDA can help you handle email and other aspects of communication and membership building and management. With the help of specialists, it’s possible to connect with your audience and members on a whole new level.